Fed-up With The Trucking Industry

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Couldn't be a practical joke or an attempt to punk anyone. Old school is too serious about trucking to be any part of that. Brett too, for that matter.

There are carbon copies of Jonathan in every walk of life. During my construction career, I probably saw a dozen or so come in new and display the same attitude and characteristics. Same type, only the names changed. None of them lasted very long on a crew.

Jonathan W.'s Comment
member avatar

There is no way all of what happened to me was my fault. It was not my fault that someone walked into the trailer and pushed everything on the floor, it was not my fault that the rollers didn't work (I literally said that I searched for better ones, but couldn't fine any), and it most definitely was not my fault that Werner falsely accused me of willful malicious behavior. There is no way any of that was my fault. Also, to everyone saying, "I don't think he should be driving buses because he failed at truck driving," you're totally missing the point! I literally said that I received inadequate training when I was in the trucking industry and the end result was I ultimately failed. On the contrary, I was given adequate training when learning how to drive a bus and I do a good job. Clearly, I'm not the problem. If that was true, I'd have failed at bus driving, too, but since that clearly didn't happen, your logic is wrong. Also, if you need anymore evidence of how actually training someone leads to them succeeding in the industry, I was given awards when I worked at a Zulily warehouse for being a hard worker, I was repeatedly called "one of the best workers" when I worked at FedEx Ground as a loader and I was even called a good worker at UPS when I worked there as a loader. Need anymore proof? God, I cannot understand your logic. What more proof do you need that training someone leads to success in an industry? If I was trained at UPS the same way the trucking industry trained me, all the boxed would be going into the wrong trailers.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

You are again, wrong. It is ALL your fault. How you don't see what everyone else sees is beyond me. You seem to be good at monotonous, repetitive jobs that require no thinking skills beyond learning the initial motion. Trucking requires you to have at least some critical thinking skills. Like being able to figure out how to use a load bar. You have taken responsibility for none of your actions as it's always someone else's fault. Its Werners fault you drive into a building. EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE OF YOUR MANY, MANY FAILURES IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY SEEM TO ALL BE YOUR FAULT. However, we all have different things we are good at, stick to the simple things that you are good at but stop trying to blame your failings on everyone else. There's is no shame in your failings just in your failure to own up to them.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Okay, Jonathan. Like a school bus filled with kids, stopped atop an active rail Crossing with a BNSF mixed-mode rolling in it 45 miles per hour, full emergency stop engaged, all the horns of Hell shouting out for your attention, you have managed to keep us riveted. Even though we know we should look away, we just cannot.

I keep reading your responses and have gotten more and more disgusted with your behavior. Sorry. According to your profile you have been a member here for not one or two, but OVER FOUR years. In that four-plus years, you have not made any posts, you have not contributed any photographs, commentary, or, for that matter given any indication that you were even alive. Ya, I looked. Maybe it was deleted by someone. The evil Werner cabal, perhaps?

Instead of coming to the forums to ask questions, like many others have done, you enter a job for which you allege you were not properly trained, you took an assignment for which you were apparently not prepared, you ignored the four pesky little letters on both of your mirrors, and when sh** went south (as often happens to those who are unprepared, either intentionally, willingly, or through ignorance) you get fired.

Then you wander in here to make your debut posting, griping about how you were a victim, you weren't trained, the sun was in your eyes, and a rock was in your way, it wasn't your fault, expecting us to "Oh, Jake" for you. And in your debut posting, you abjectly fail to acknowledge that you ignored a resource that you had available to you for over four years. Four years. You, sir, are no victim. You are complicit in your failure.

How long ago did Werner fire you? What did you do in the time between Werner and bus school? What was the overall time it took you to complete the bus driving training, coursework and all? When did you take the bus driving practical examination? Did you pass it the first time? What feedback did the dot examiner give you upon completion of the exam?

I ask these questions because I suspect you're a sad lonely miscreant who needs the attention generated by the ongoing drama you wish to spin for us. You should simply stop trying to convince us that you are the victim of someone else's negligence/malfeasance, and get on with life. Any life.

If I cared to give up any more minutes of my life which I shan't ever recover, I would ask to see a photo of your CDL-A with the passenger endorsement. However, even if you have one, you will never be satisfied until everyone kneels at the altar of "Jonathan is, certainly, the most victimized ever to sit in a CMV driver's seat."

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I'm just gonna say it and if it makes me appear rude, so be it...

I'm frankly a bit terrified that someone who couldn't handle commercial cargo (and hit a building FFS) is now responsible for human cargo. Just sayin'

To 'swing the rope' if you will ... the comparisons are small, yet huge .. between driving a bus and a t/t.

Our son's bus driver has a license for both (and many do not) and she sure WILL agree, that here in the country, the continuum of the vehicle (no pivot) is more predictable. She sent me these:

Just sayin' too....

And this: Bus vs. 18 wheeler ~

Shout out (with one arm!) to Mary!

~ Anne ~

Gabe M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm about to be "the 51 year old rookie" at Truck Driving School. I'm originally and currently from the PNW. Mainly Oregon and Washington. Mom used to live in the Greenwood area of Seattle, kind of adjacent to Ballard if I remember correctly. Needless to say, I hit this blog up a lot. A lot of good and real knowledge. Your last sentence speaks volumes. And, not surprisingly, it happens in many an industry in which there are motivated newbies whom are still wet behind the ears, so to speak. And of course, I have been that guy.

You laid that scenario out in a very clear and concise way. I'm quite sure I'll find out in my own way, and soon, how the trucking industry isn't for the faint of heart. I remember how many of us Marine Corps Privates used to opine: "But this isn't how they showed us" or this isn't what they said; etc. Of course life experience is always the best, but sometimes hardest teacher. I will say this: The older I got, the more willing I became to advocate for myself so to speak. Not that it always worked, but at least you could say, I asked for more time, or why a manual specifies one way but the method is taught another way, and so forth.

I have empathy for this young man, because I've been in similar situations when I was young, just trying to execute, and get the job done. The military refrain, many a time, was, often from a frustrated instructor: "Just wait until you get to your unit.... you'll learn how they want it done. I'm also sure, soon enough, I'll have some kind of situation involving tight quarters backing, that makes me sweat!

v\r Gabe

double-quotes-start.png

Ahh. so very similar in nature to say.. Sysco Foods or any number of restaurant supply companies.

double-quotes-end.png

With two important differences:

1. While Sysco, McLane, etc. will hire drivers with limited experience, Dollar stores actively prey on new drivers with no experience. If you search you will see many posts from drivers right out of CDL school who were approached with offers to drive for Dollar accounts with no experience. The new driver thinks it's their lucky day because of the higher starting pay, not realizing the skill required or the danger involved. Too often they back into things and find themselves fired with several incidents on their DAC and only a few weeks of driving experience. As the OP states - finding another driving job after that is a challenge.

2. Dollar stores run a tight schedule and many of their stores are stand alone with small parking lots. Restaurants are usually next to other businesses so they tend to share a larger parking lot giving more room for a truck to maneuver. Putting a rookie in a funky backing situation while the clock is ticking is a recipe for disaster.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Gabe M.'s Comment
member avatar

Mr. "C"

Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, reflection/s, and that cool and meaningful quote or (close too quote) while at PTI. I appreciate this contribution.

V/r Gabe

Jonathan, sorry that freight transportation didn't turn out to be as lucrative or enjoyable as you obviously hoped and believed it would be. Is it a tough, sometimes crappy, oftentimes frustrating job? Yep. Does it take a year or longer to figure it out? Yep. Did you have the opportunity to read and study the information that is contained here on TT before you took on the dollar account? Seems like either you might have known about TT (since you've been affiliated here for over four years), or you may have seen the site but didn't realize the depth of honest input you'd receive here.

In either case, you are here now. There are downsides to EVERY industry, as a previous response reflects. If you're happy driving a school bus, then by golly be the absolute best school bus driver you have the ability to be. Wishing you every success in your chosen profession, don't let it be a job but make it a profession. That will make all the difference in the long run.

You obviously have grievances with your choices and their outcomes. The bottom line to me, and what many considering this profession as their career should consider taking away from this discussion is "There are challenges in this job. There are a bunch of people on here, moderators and non-moderators alike, that want people to be FULLY informed before they start driving. Trucking Truth is a decent place to get informed before the challenges overwhelm. I should take the time to ask the questions that I have, and see what information lands in my toolbox."

Many years back, in a previous life, there was a sign posted on the wall in the cleaning area at PTI in Champaign, IL: "Every person owes some portion of their income to improving their skill in their profession" or words to that effect. Taking the time in the beginning to spend that personal capital to explore, learn and prepare for the profession will move anew driver light-years forward in being prepared for the challenges that exist.

Wishing you great success and satisfaction moving forward. Peace.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar
I have empathy for this young man, because I've been in similar situations when I was young, just trying to execute, and get the job done. The military refrain, many a time, was, often from a frustrated instructor: "Just wait until you get to your unit.... you'll learn how they want it done. I'm also sure, soon enough, I'll have some kind of situation involving tight quarters backing, that makes me sweat!

Gabe, I implore you, do not waste perfectly good empathy on him. You will find out, it is impossible for a trainer or trucking school or trucking company to teach you everything you need to know out here. There is nobody there to hold your hand and coddle you when you start this career. You are given the basics and are expected to be able to figure much of it out on your own, as we all have done and had to do. You will understand when you start what I mean and to be honest, like a previous commenter stated...it ain't rocket science. If you have even a quarter of a functional brain and a cell phone with internet you can figure it all out. At the very least, accept blame for what YOU f*#c up. He hit a building and failed to report it ffs. His third offense. Then blamed Werner for it. He even blamed Werner for his failure to pay his car payment on his dream car 2006 Altima. Where does the ignorance stop?

It really isn't that hard to figure out, trust me. Much of it you get just by seeing it done or looking at it for a second (like a load strap or bar. Even sliding the tandems. He sadly deserves every bit of criticism he has gotten. Well, even more than he has gotten but some of us, myself included have held back so as to not hurt his feelings.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

First, I want to give a tremendous shout-out to everyone who responded here. The advice and insights are absolutely spectacular! It's always a joy reading the thoughts of people who have a lot of life experience and really have things figured out. Outstanding job!

This conversation has touched on just about everything we try to teach here, and number one is attitude. Attitude really makes all the difference. People who don't make it in trucking usually walk away quite angry with everyone except themselves. They hate the trucking industry, they hate their company or school, and they hate the people they were trying to learn from.

Why is that?

You'll find their learning experience was a vicious cycle of:

try -> fail -> become frustrated -> place blame elsewhere -> try again

Each time you fail and place blame elsewhere, you become increasingly frustrated with everything. You lose patience, stop thinking clearly, stop listening to what you're being taught, and then you can't perform as well as you should. It's a downward spiral.

Entering this industry with the wrong expectations is also a killer. Students enter the industry with expectations about everything, which is only natural. We all try to figure out what lies ahead. Unfortunately, many students have the wrong expectations about the learning process, the type of people they'll encounter, and what the job will be like.

Jonathan, nothing about trucking is easy. But tens of millions of ordinary, everyday people have had long, successful careers. They took the same path you did, and they made it through. You can blame the industry, the company, and the instructors if you like but what can you say about the people in your class who were successful? They worked in the same industry, they worked for the same company, and they had the same instructors.

There is no comfortable answer to that question.

Someone said that in their experience, Werner had given students many opportunities to improve after making major mistakes. This is most closely related to attitude. You'll often find that a master loves to teach those who are fiercely determined to learn and have a great attitude. If you're humble, honest, enthusiastic, and hard-working, you'll find that 99% of the instructors will bend over backward to get you through. If someone has a lousy attitude, no one wants to waste their time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jonathan W.'s Comment
member avatar

To the guy that keeps saying, "you should know how to use a load bar without having ever been taught. It's not rocket science," Here:

2 Sound_Event /chime 80 Sound_Event /open 90 Sound_Event open 240 Sound_Event /close 250 Sound_Event /announcement 260 Sound_Event announcement 360 Sound_Event /alarm 528 Sound_Event closea 536 Sound_Event /closea

I want you to tell me what that is, what it means and how you're supposed to use it. You should be able to find out without me telling you. It's not rocket science. By your logic, next time the power goes out, I should just climb on the power utility poles myself because I should know how to safely work on power utility lines without ever being trained on them. It's not rocket science. So go on. Tell me what it means and how to use it.

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